Landmark Gender Identity Act makes international headlines

International media acknowledges Malta's progessive developments in civil rights

The passing of a new law yesterday, which removes the arguably extreme legal requirements for transgender, intersex and genderqueer people to have their gender identity recognized by the state, will have a profoundly positive effect on the lives of those who make use of it. 

The Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act makes the islands only the second European nation, after Denmark, to allow transgender people to change their legal gender without any medical or state intervention.

Intersex individuals are also protected from medically unecessary surgical alteration of their genitals, which the law now bans outright.

The landmark change in the law has put Malta on the civil rights map and has drawn support from the global community and made international headlines.

The New York Times and media website Buzzfeed have both featured the news on their online portals.

The New York Times lauded the removal of gender reassignment surgery and a diagnosis of mental illness as legal prerequisites to the recognition of gender by the state. 

Buzzfeed called the development the 'world's most progressive gender identity law', which also protects against discrimination, and a surprisingly liberal move from such a deeply Catholic nation.

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